John began farming in 1956 and is the current owner-occupier of a 900 acre Cumbrian hill farm engaged in sheep and beef production. In 1972 he and his wife Barbara created Westmorland and developed it over the following 40 years.  An ideas man and an entrepreneur, John has also made a significant contribution to the development of rural issues both within and outside Cumbria and is also a fountain of knowledge on Cumbrian history.